Autumn season has its own distinct smells and sounds

Published 9:02 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Dick Herfindahl, Woods & Water

Love that smell! Fall is the season with its own distinct smell, but spring is a pretty close second. I recognize more smells of fall than any other season. A fall rain can really bring out that smell of fallen leaves and the foliage that is dying on the vine which has its own unique smell. All in all I think that when the smell of fall is in the air it has an almost magic potion like hold on me.

Dick Herfindahl

There are also the sounds of fall — like that of dried fallen leaves crackling underfoot as you walk through the woods. Deer can also be heard calling one another throughout the woods, usually in the early morning or late fall evenings. At night you can sometimes hear the wolves howling repeatedly at the moon, but I think that is just a picture we have painted in our imaginations. Overall, if we just take the time to stop and smell or listen to nature, it can be an exhilarating experience.

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The high winds we have been experiencing this week make any “fall sniffing” almost impossible, in fact, hanging onto one’s nose is a task in itself. It seems to me that the weather we have been experiencing this past year is old Mother Nature’s way of letting us know that there are still some things that man cannot control.

This past week my oldest son, Brian, my daughter-in-law, Kim, and the boys were up at our cabin by Marcell for a few days of hunting and fishing. I’ve often written about my oldest grandson Trevor and his love of fishing and hunting. As it is every year when hunting season is on he pretty much forgets about anything else and that was the case again this year. Like so many times in the past, Trevor and his brother, Taylor, along with their dad, had spent a lot of time hunting. They had just finished walking about five miles of woods in search of the elusive grouse but eventually returned to camp with nothing to show for it.

After lunch Trevor did what he loves to do best and headed to the lake to do a little duck hunting while the rest of the family relaxed around the campfire. As they sat there a red squirrel appeared by the campfire and then disappeared only to re-appear under Kim’s chair causing quite a ruckus. Soon after that Taylor heard something in the trees behind him and thinking it was that squirrel again looked to the trees and saw a bird perched in a birch tree. He asked his dad what kind of bird it was, and he replied that it was a grouse. Taylor asked his dad if he could shoot it, and he said yes. When Trevor heard the shot from his spot down by the lake he sent Taylor a text message asking what the shooting was about. Taylor replied with a picture of the grouse. I can imagine what Trevor must have been thinking — all that walking and one just shows up for my brother. How did we ever manage to survive all these years without cell phones?

These windy days of fall that we have been experiencing aren’t inclined to make you want to spend any quality time outdoors. I trust that we will have some nice days ahead to spend enjoying some nice southern Minnesota fall weather.

The deer hunting opener is fast approaching and I hope that this year’s hunt will be a successful one for most deer hunters. The deer hunting opener for firearms is Saturday, Nov. 6, and the Muzzleloader season is Nov. 27 through Dec. 12. Remember to drop off your hides at the designated stations for hides for habitat.

DNR reminds hunters of changes to southeastern Minnesota deer

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to remind hunters that southeastern Minnesota’s 3A and 3B firearm deer seasons will remain at nine days this fall and bucks must have at least one four-point antler in order to be legal for harvest.

Also, deer hunters in the southeast also will no longer be allowed to tag bucks shot by other hunters.

“These new regulations are designed to effectively manage the deer populations at goal levels and increase the proportion of mature bucks,” said Lou Cornicelli, the DNR’s Big Game Program coordinator.

Changes are in effect only in deer permit areas 338-349, which comprise southeastern Minnesota. The 2010 firearm deer season structure in those areas is:

Nine-day seasons for both the early (3A) and late (3B) hunts.

For all hunters older than 17 during the archery, firearms and muzzleloader seasons, a legal buck must have at least one 4-point antler.

Hunters are prohibited from tagging an antlered buck for another hunter.

Good luck to all the deer hunters and have a safe hunt!

Remember our brothers and sisters who are proudly serving our country so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today.